Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ratchet and Clank Future; tools of destruction

What I lie sour this series is that you know EXACTLY what you are
getting and this newest installment is no different. That isn't to
say its just a rehash, it isn't. The environments are richer, the
weapons upgrade system is deeper, and the game is just gorgeous.
Something about the one is just more compelling, as well. I've never
felt so obsessed with getting bolts before. More, there's almost none
of the near-impossible scenes that I felt annoyed with on the previous
games. Though that might just be me and how I really wanted to beat
this.
Anyhow, is this the game to buy a ps3 for? I dunno, but theses now
enough out there to make it worthwhile.


iPhone! Ultra-Mega e-mail send NOW!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Xmas

If there is a better definition than
"an atheist Jew spending Xmas with the in-laws while everyone but you works in the kitchen"
I'd be very surprised

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mormonism and Romney follow-up

btw, I'm not specifically picking on Mormonism here, just using a relevant example to prove my point from the earlier post.

Jerusalem has been a religious focal point for millenium. Why? BigHugeImportant things keep happening there. That gives it very special status.

Well, if ages ago, Jesus came to America, and if centuries ago, angels came down and spoke to John Smith in America, then doesn't that make America special too? God-chosen, even?
If you believe that, then wouldn't that have an effect on, at the very least, foreign policy?
I'm not saying it would have a negative effect, but simply that it would change how we interacted with the rest of the world.
Isn't that important to know about your candidate?


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Mitt Romney and judging religion

On the way in to work today, NPR was doing a bit in New Hampshire about reactions to Romney's speach and his religion in general.
One person said something to the effect of: I thought Kennedy put this to rest. When a jewish person comes to the forefront, are we going to have to go through this again? Should we really be judging other people's faiths?

In one sense I agree with this guy. Should we be judging if one faith is more true than another? Of course not. Faith, by definition, can't be known in that sense (though many might disagree...ego is wonderful, isn't it?).
But when it comes to the tenets of that faith, then yes, not only should we judge, but we MUST judge.
While a president may be able to distance himself from the direct influence of his church, these are still the beliefs that will shape his policy, and the church determins those beliefs.
Look at our current president. He believes that homosexuality is wrong. He believes this because of his faith.
The Catholic church says that capital punishment is wrong. If we elect a Catholic president, the Pope might not call him and tell him whether to sign or veto a bill abolishing the death penalty, but the decision is already there.

Certainly, on big issues like the above, issues that come up during the campaign, you can simply find out where the person stands. But those are not the only issues that will come up during their term.
More subtle ones: government aid to the Boy Scouts (a religious organization that bans gays from being troop leaders), how scientific information is handled (promoting abstinance only programs against all information that shows they don't work, or global warming, for that matter), and so forth.

Ignoring this is no different than ignoring whether or not a candidate is, say, pro-big government, or a socialist, or an oil baron.

Thats sort of the thing in America. When people say they want 'a person of faith', they are lying. The really mean 'a person of my faith, or at least something close'.
Because I shit you not, for people who toss that phrase around, they don't mean jews or muslims or hindus.




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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Jesus was born centuries before 0

I guess if you are a christian, you don't need to know ANYTHING, not even basic history. Of course, this is the same woman who doesn't know if the world is flat or round, so...

As Atrios would say...
the stupid...IT BURNS!!!



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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Abortion Victory!! I hope.


New Laws Defining A Fertilized Egg As A Human Being With All Constitutional Rights


Why would this be a massive victory?
Because people would finally have to face the hypocracy of the pro-life stance.

I am an egg.
I am removed, along with many of my siblings to be.
I am fertizlied because my daddy made stuff in a cup.
I am an American Citizen!!
I am then frozen for an indefinite time, or until I am thrown away.

Now, in what way EXACTLY, is this not a crime.
The moment these laws go into effect (if they do) I want every fertility clinic up on charges.


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Atheism, comics, writing, video games

Well, that should cover everything.
Let's go down the list:
Atheism: Interestingly, more and more people I'm talking to are, apparently, atheists. This gives me great hope for the future. I want to make something very clear here. I am not anti-religion, in that I believe YOU get to believe whatever you want. However, you don't get to use that as a defense when someone challenges you on some position you've taken, or worse, voted on. At best, all religion can provide in such a debate is an end to it.
1:"I am pro-choice because, ultimately, this is a biological process, a small collection of cells that is part of a woman's body. That makes it her choice."
2: "Well, I'm pro-life because God says that is a person with a soul"
Effectively, thats like saying "nyah nyah nyah, I'm not listening". There really is no point in continuing the discussion.

Also, having spent some time thinknig about it, I am very disappointed in Pascal.

Comics: 52. I want to get through 52. I know its important. I know that buying the trades makes it easier.
But it just won't end. And I just don't care.
Further, Powers continues to rock.

Writing: Dunno why this was in the list. I am, however, starting to get into photography. Well, mostly into Photoshop more than actually taking pictures. I'm pretty good at it, too.

Video Games: Yes, Rock Band does, in fact, rock. However...Mass Effect. Are there some crappy mechanics? Sure. Are the manual and tutorials woefully insufficient? Definitely. Is it the best RPG of all time? Quite possibly.
Now, it simply isn't fair to compare this game to others in the past. The 360 does, in fact, have a ton more power, and yadda yadda. But it is apparent that this thing was a labor of love for BioWare. The writing, the dialog, the environments (except for the fact that planetary outpots tend to get a little repetative...even that may make sense), the twists and side quests, the depth each of the characters possesses, these are the things that make an RPG great. And in these aspects, I've never encountered anything close to Mass Effect. FFX, KOTOR and KOTOR II, Oblivion, nothing.
So, my new top 5 games (in no particular order)
Mass Effect
Resident Evil 4
Final Fantasy X
KOTOR I and II
God Of War I and II

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Mass Effect

I'm not sure I can say how amaznig mass effect is. The best way is through an email conversation I've had over the past couple days:

ME:
OK, so, I got completely sucked into Mass Effect (to the point of almost forgetting about Rock Band).
First, the writing is amazing. The dialog is better than any I've ever heard before in a video game.
Second, to back up the first, the voice acting is top notch.
The plot and graphics (for the most part) rock, and the pacing is pretty good.
This really is the next step forward from KOTOR.
However,
I don't know if I was just doing something wrong with my team, went someplace too early, or just have to learn more, but the game is HARD.
The last planet I was on took hours. I had to fight for every single inch, struggle to get through every encounter.
While this was very frustrating, its also very satisfying.

A couple of items...the moon-rover vehicle is no fun to drive.
There are a couple bugs here and there, like your character just getting stuck behind a bar, or, as recently happened, in a wall.
But these are small prices to pay for what may be the best RPG out there.

I ache.

Tomorrow, I drum.


MK:
I second that: i've played (it tells me) for 13 hours this weekend,
and i'm not even remotely tired of it. The vehicle is indeed a piece
of shit to drive, but everything else is pretty damned sweet, but i
figured out yesterday how to handle it in a fight much better than
before.

honestly, i could have doubdled the time spent in game if i read
everything in the codex that i gathered, but frankly, i don't think i
can: but the fact that they built a incredibly deep universe is
awesome.

favorite bug: walking across a bridge in the Citadel, and just getting
stuck right in the middle of it. couldn't go forward, or backward,
until i crouched. and then the invisible wall was gone.

S:
Someday I will get to play.

*sigh*

Until then I will continue assassinating people.


ME:
btw
1. While I hate the moon buggy, I will say that it moves like you'd expect a moon buggy to move, and its almost indestructable due to terrain. I think I drove off a mountain top, fell for almost 10 seconds, and only hurt my front right wheel. Assuming the wheel wasn't already damaged.

2. The elevator sequences are pretty long. But I love the small talk the companions make:
A(big alien, deep voice): So, your people created the Geth, the greatest threat to the universe ever. Do you talk about that?
B (female): No. We find it to be very unpleasant conversation. Your people were steralized by the Taurians. Do you ever talk about that?
A: all the time.

As fun as the side quests have been, I finally took my first real step in the main storyline (after becoming a spectre).
And its even more fun than the side-quests.
Also, turning your squad-mates from 'use skills/talents for defense only' to 'use talents for all purposes (or w2hatever)' makes for MUCH more fun. Nothing like seeing a giant dog-beast suddenly fly into the air and get smashed to the ground


MK:
super concur about changing the AI control settings. sure, it takes
some of the finer control out of the game (no, don't make that guy fly
in ther air, dammit!), but it also allows me to not go insane issuing
command after command - pausing to do such a thing really takes some
of the flow out of the game. more importantly, it actually allows me
time to use the sniper rifle without going insane zooming in and out.

i do kinda wish, however, that the game didn't keep track of how long
i've been playing. over the course of a 4 day weekend, i apparently
logged 24 hours of game time. this is an unheatlhy ratio, but
stunningly, all i want to do is play more. it's been a *long* time
since i wanted to do that - not even KOTOR did that for me (though, of
course, now i want to re-play that).

ME:
I'm a bit disappointed in the sniper rifle, the 'zoom' doesn't appear to be any different than anything else. Or am I missing something?
I am, however, VERY happy with my squad using the rifle. a couple of them become absolutely devastating with it.
Of course, having done more than a few side missions first, I may just be over-powered at this point.

I'm rapidly filling up all the skill-slots though (at least for Sheppard), so I'm curious as to what will happen when I have no more places to put skill points.

I agree with the desire to simply keep playing and playing and playing.
This is to RPGs what God Of War was to action/hackslash games.
If someone would feed and diaper me, I'm pretty sure I could play 24 hours straight.

BTW, Saren and Captain Anderson were the main characters in the Mass Effect novel.


MK:
24 hours in, i still have plenty of skill slots to go; not sure you
have to worry about that.

The sniper rifle zoom is definitely different than the zoom on the
other weapons. i don't know what you're doing to not get it - you get
the typical "black circle + fine crosshairs" zoom that you'd expect,
and it's a *big* zoom. saved my life more than once by being *far*
away and just pegging people from the top of a mountain. One shot
kills are nothing to sneeze at.

ME:
ahhhh...I wonder if its because my character doesn't have any skills in it. That would make ALOT of sense. Dragsville, daddy-o, I'm always a fan of sniper rifles. Mostly I use a pistol (which, surprisingly, does a ton of damage...).


I'm probably 75% or more through my skillslots. Of course, I might be mentally editting all this and forgetting the skills I'm not bothering with so who knows.


S:
He spent most of the weekend (up until about 8pm last night) doing side quests. So his chars may be a bit more leveled than yours.


He's finally learning to play right ;).


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Thursday, September 20, 2007

iSlut for iPhone

For years and years I've wanted a single device that handled everything short of being a workstation (don't get me wrong, I'd love that too...and with that cool projected keybooard that came out a while ago...).
And my prayers have, nearly, been answered with the iPhone.
All the hype aside, it is a fantastic, intuitive device. I'm always connected (it looks for WiFi and failing that, connects through EDGE) including email and web browsing, my calendar and contacts are organized well, and so forth.
The keyboard is amazing and I'm getting faster every day (my fiance is significantly better at it than I am...apparently I have club-fingers).
Only a couple things annoy me:
- ringtones have to be only from approved songs on itunes...(minimal annoyance).
- 3rd party apps require a hack. This one is a little bigger for me. I want to synch my iPhone up with goggle calendar and come up with a way to synch google with outlook at work (I'm just a contractor and there's no way they'll let me hook up my iPhone to my workstation). That gives me a single repository for appointments which I'm always forgetting. There IS a process for doing this one-way, which will have to do for now.
Further, it would be great if there was a doc reader so I could skim over design specs, for example, while killing time in line somewhere.

I suspect that Apple will open things up eventually out of pure demand.

Oh, and something nice about hacks? The iPhone comes with a 'factory reset' function that will return it to its initial state if you screw anything up too much.

I'm also assuming that some software update will have the screen rotate for more than just browsing and pictures, and little tweaks here and there.


Honestly? This is the single best device I've ever owned.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kathy Griffen, Hate Speeh and Jesus


Kathy's Remarks To Be Censored Because Catholics Have Snit

"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this," Griffin said at this weekend's show, at which the academy gives out the awards there aren't time to hand out in Sunday's main Emmy telecast. "But he had nothing to do with this. Suck it, Jesus, this award is my God now!"

Now, I'm not sure where I stand on how hate speech should be classified and handled, but I'm pretty sure that this ISN'T hate speech (though many may find it offensive).

If she said "Suck it, Karl Marx!" it wouldn't be considered hate speech against Karl nor against Socialists.
If she had said, "Suck it, you child molesting socialists", that would be different.

Or, more to the point, if she had said "Everyone says 'thank you jesus', and I'm here to say, 'fuck off you christians'. Good night." THAT might be hate speech.

But she DIDN'T say that. She made a crack about a person who is dead (if he ever existed), or about a particular world-view. She didn't make any crack about the people who follow that view (other than the obvious subtext that people who get up there and thank jesus are generally not sincere).

But, yes, I can understand why the Catholic League finds it offensive, certainly. And they are doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to do. They are making a stink. Thats how these things work. You don't like something, you speak up. Thats how the whole Don Imus thing worked out.

I just think that calling it hate speech is an attempt to equate it with real threats against, say, gays, and providers of abortions, oh...wait...

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We have to stay in Iraq why???


Its all because of the troops

"If you don't come out here, then you really have no clue," says Gonzales, a member of Task Force Justice, which is operating in northern Baghdad. "They don't understand what it is [like] driving down the road and to wonder if you are going to get blown up or not."

I've heard this sort of thing before. Usually along with "Let's honor the soldiers by letting them do their job".
Translation (as always): if you don't support the war, you hate the troops.
Another translation: You'll hurt the soldiers' feelings if you call the home before they 'win'.
And while I respect the men and women serving our country, hurt feelings and bruised honor (if these really would be the results) are NOT NOT NOT reason enough to continue a war.

I'm sorry if I sound like I'm belittling the situation, but the argument really does come down to that. Exactly how many lives have to be lost to balance against the emotional damage a soldier might suffer because he wasn't allowed to continue fighting?

Further, the troops serve us, and the policies we create, NOT the other way around.
Here's an analogy: Assume a large group of volunteers are being used to test an antidote for a particularly dangerous poison. The antidote keeps failing. The volunteers keep dying. Would you suggest that the doctors keep running the study because the remaining volunteers would feel like it had all been a waste?

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Censorship and the real meaing of freeh speech


Not releasing a DVD is censorship?

Now Cyrus is trying to revise history. He complains that ABC’s decision not to release the DVD version of Path to 9/11 is censorship worthy of Stalin:

This passive self-censorship is just as effective as anything Joseph Stalin or Big Brother could impose. The result is the same: the curbing of free speech and creative expression, and the suppression of a viewpoint that may be an inconvenient truth for some politicians.

See, that’s the problem with free speech. People assume that the fact that you CAN say what you want, that you CAN make a movie, that you CAN write a novel, means you are entitled to an audience.

I'd say that blogging has disproved that. Gazillions of people, even with the means of production, have no audience. If the site hosting your blog doesn't promote it, is that censorship?

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Oracle and RowID

Someone in class today asked why you would ever use Rowid. If you ever needed the speed which rowid grants you, then shouldn't you have an index on that column?
Now, the fact that indexes don't always help aside, my response was that rowid is useful in very large tables.
This is not actually the answer I meant to give.
What I have found it really useful for is deduping, especially in ETL situations.
If, somehow, you've loaded data in a way that has dupes (or perhaps the data itself has dupes) and you didn't assign a sequence to each record, then you can end up in a very bad place.
row1: Joel,Smith, 617-862-5147
row2: Joel,Smith, 617-862-5147
There is no way to tell one row from another, so getting rid of a dupe is difficult, if not out-and-out impossible.
Unless you use rowid.
Each of the rows above has a unique rowid, and that can be used to select a specific row, regardless of the data (no, you can't use rownum)
Yes, this is reasonably basic, but it is worth keeping in mind.
It isn't a speed issue, its an identity issue.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cool Oracle thing, stupid oracle thing

Cool:
so, I never really understood how to know if it was a good idea to use an index, or why an index is used by the CBO or a full-table scan was used.
While this isn't completely accurate, its a good estimate:
1. using the all_tables and tab_cols views, you can get how many blocks and how many rows per block.
2. if the percentage of rows you are planning to retrieve is greater than 1/rows-per-block then you are likely to use the full table scan

Stupid: the cursor_sharing parameter helps oracle know how to reuse explain plans (how oracle does the query). Set that to 'FORCE'. That means that EVERY cursor, EVERY query, will use the same explain plan.
Select * from employees where emp_id = 100
uses the same explain plan as
Select * from employees where emp_id = 200
which is good.
BUT, the same plan gets used for
Select * from products where product_id=7
Which will get you data from the employees table!


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Rampant Links: Newsflash Edition


I'm sorry, Mr. Richardson, exactly where in the Constitution? Where in the Bible?
My response: Fuck Iowa.



See, Bob, thats what you get for going techno.



Duh, Part I. Film at 11.



Duh, Part II. Join us next week for our lead story, "People would rather be rich than poor"



The only story of late that doesn't make me sad, angry, or homicidal


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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

No, don't bother with hard journalism. Just the easyfunstuff


Vanity Fair article on Gore and the media during his run.
As Time magazine's Margaret Carlson admitted to Don Imus at the time, "You can actually disprove some of what Bush is saying if you really get into the weeds and get out your calculator, or look at his record in Texas. But it's really easy, and it's fun to disprove Al Gore. As sport, and as our enterprise, Gore coming up with another whopper is greatly entertaining to us."

Yes, the MSM certainly have a liberal bias...
Jesus...this is frickin' Time magazine here. Not Matt Drudge

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Republicans: Yeah, we only care about Straight White Males


Film at 11

UnivisiĆ³n planned to air the first presidential debates in Spanish on Sept. 9 and 16, one for Democrats, the other for Republicans, trumpeting a national coming-out party for Hispanic voters.

Except Republican candidates aren't coming. Only Ariz. Sen. John McCain agreed to participate in the event at the University of Miami.
...
All eight Democratic candidates are slated to show up Sept. 9, and party leaders plan to highlight the contrast.


Seriously, they don't wanna do the youtube thing, they can't stomach the idea of the logo debate, and now they don't feel like reaching out to latinos.
What's left?
Well, what do they care. They don't need those snotty tech brats, or those disgusting fags and man hating dykes. And they especially don't need those fucking wetbacks.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Romney On Craig


"I think it reminds us of Mark Foley and Bill Clinton,"

Yes, soliciting prostitues and sexually harassing underaged aides is exactly the same thing as having sex with a consenting adult.

Craig, gays, and self-loathing


The logic is that if you're gay, you must therefore support gay marriage

No, you twit.
The logic is that, if you are gay, and you don't support gay rights in general, you are, in fact, pathetic.
The right's objections regarding homosexuality aren't at all limited to gay marriage. Thats just the most recent outbreak (mostly because the gay rights movement is winning, as freedom and civil liberties always do, eventually).
And here's Craig hiding frm his own fears again:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/08/29/craig.arrest/index.html
Craig also has opposed expanding the federal hate crimes law to cover offenses motivated by anti-gay bias and, in 1996, voted against a bill that would have outlawed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, which failed by a single vote in the Senate.


If you go through the whole article (which is a very good overview of how opinions on Craig have changed now that the election has passed), it becomes apparent that the real problem the right has with Craig is that he was having illicit GAY sex. Vitter, on the other hand, appears to have just been too manly for one woman.

Anyhow, Craig has shown himself to be a self-loathing hypocrit who puts his desire for power ahead of everything. Even his own nature. He has, in fact, sold his soul to those who would see him burn.

I'm reminded of a character from The Boondocks cartoon.
Rufus.
He is, of course, the modern day version of...well...a particular class of slave who worked in the owner's mansion.


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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Boycott Amy Winhouse


Good tactic

It isn't my place to determin if Ms. Winehouse is an addict, but I do think that this tactic should be followed either way.
The fact is that Amy has been screwing her fans by, y'know, not showing up for concerts.
Concerts people paid money to attend.
Again.
And again.
So, one of a couple of things is going on here.
1. Amy figures she can get away with this shit. This requires a sizable ego as well as a complete lack of understanding of the music world. Amy can and will be replaced, just like every boy band, the moment people get tired of her crap. Very VERY few people can go the distance. Alienating your audiance can cut the suffering short.

2. Amy is completely and totally ungrateful for what she's been given. A tiny fraction of people in the world get what she's gotten. I wonder how much she'll like, y'know, working at Tower Records for the rest of her life.

3. She's nine kinds of sick. Addiction, bi-polar, or just plain old crazy.

Not buying her albums will either cut short her career now and get it over with, or it will wake the girl up (in the case of 1 and 2) or will at least stop financing and enabling her addiction.

Keep helping me drink and I'm gonna keep drinking.

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emu emu emu emu emu emu


EMUS, I TELL YOU, EMUS!!!

Employees of a Wal-Mart Supercenter used shopping carts to corral a wayward emu outside the store Monday about 6 a.m., West Bend police said.

Which, really, is what Wal-Mart is good for. Herding ugly, but speedy, animals.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Vick's issue is what, exactly?


Vick: I need to grow up

He said that he was "disappointed in myself" and that "dogfighting is a terrible thing and I ... reject it."

He said, "Through this situation I've found Jesus."

OK, can I say how SICK I am of people 'finding Jesus' just in time to try and make the public forgive them their trespasses?
The thing that kills me here is Vick's understatement.
Vick doesn't just need to grow up.
To me, what he's saying is, 'I screwed up and put my career at risk.'
And, more so, 'I got caught'.
(I'll put aside for the moment the fact that Vick is one of the most fortunate men in the world. He, basically, has EVERYTHING, and instead of being a worthwhile, grateful human being, he decides to make dogs slaughter each other).

Vick's issue isn't one of maturity, per se. It is one of moral development.
Let's remember. Vick didn't just take part in dog-fighting, which is reprehensible in and of itself, and is basically torture. He killed the dogs that didn't do well. With HIS hands.
Torturing and killing mammals for pleasure is a very interesting characteristic.
It's one of the surest signs a child will grow up to be a sociopath.
What does it say about an adult?


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Friday, August 24, 2007

Heavenly Sword!!!


So, IGN UK just released a review of Heavenly Sword!!!

Unfortunately, it is far less than stellar.
From skimming the review, it looks like the game is absolutely wonderful as eye and ear candy.
But gameplay...
This is really not good for the PS3.
The console needs a couple games worth buying the system for (killer apps).
Heavenly Sword was the first hope (ok, I can't speak to racing or sports games).
Next is Lair.
Then, I think, its skate, Folklore, then Ratchet And Clank Future:Tools Of Destruction.
Lair could be huge, I mean who DOESN'T want to fly a fire breathing dragon?
But I am not setting my hopes too high.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Yes, people being persecuted certainly is odd...


Abuse of cross-dressers, maybe jailtime

So, it isn't that I think cross-dressing as a crime is insane (though it is)
and it isn't that I think that sharia law is an abomination (though it surely is).
Its that Reuters put this article in the 'Oddly Enough' section.
I wonder...
Do honor killings go in that section?
How about..."Woman, raped, accuses brother who also raped other sister!" HAH! Boy, that sure is odd.
Oh...wait...I think I meant to say 'horrific', not odd.




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The Cult Of The Amateur

So, Andrew "I'm not really self-serving elitest" Keen has been making the rounds of late, thanks to his scheme to actually get paid to troll, called The Cult Of The Amateur.
(no, I'm not gonna link to the book...)
If you've missed this, the basic premis is that because the internet allows everyone to voice their opinions and/or their art/music/whatever, it is destroying the opportunities for people of real talent and real intelligence.
Lets break that down into two groups, which, I beliece, is how Mr. Keen sees it.

1. Artists: I'm not sure what Andy thinks the art world was like BEFORE the internets, but I can assure him that since the demise of patrons, being an artist of any kind has always been an uphill battle. It is difficult to imagine that blogging and such have had any negative impact on this. Are more people pumping out music? Sure. But it also means that you don't need to go bankrupt to put together an album and distribute it. Think of how people like Ani DiFranco would have LOVED to be able to tap into this network! Had all these tubes been in place years earlier, perhaps we would have been spared Fiona Apple's pathetic tirade at the grammies.
I'm also not certain Mr. Keen is aware that, even before this technology, a large number of artists were putting out crap. The interwebs haven't changed that, either.

2. Journalists and the media: He's right on this topic, in that we do have to read our news critically. Bloggers are formally answerable to no one. Atrios could put up posts saying that "Bush may be contemplating invading Iran within the next two days" and there's not alot that would happen. I mean, jeez, go look at Little Green Footballs and Michelle Malkin if you want to see how poorly some sites report 'news'. I'm not saying that they are out-and-out lying, but...
The thing is...the MSM has CAUSED this to happen. When the nightly news, the NYT, the white house press corp, etc. all become mouthpieces for the administration, when they report virtually nothing of substance, when they become sheep because they are afraid to step on anyone's toes, well, what did they expect to happen?
Its like Jon says...its almost as if the mainstream media has completely abdicated its responsibilities.

I could go on for a while more on this, but I won't.
I will relate a quickie here, though.
Caught Sir Keen on CSPAN2 this weekend. He was just doing a panel thing back in June. The other guy on the panel was Lev Grossman, writer for time magazine (and, incidentally, someone I went to school with a gazillion years ago). The conversation would go something like this:
Keen: 'The real problem is that there are so many people who are trying to X'
- make a living on the internet
- think they can get rich on the internet
- think that everything any blogger posts is true
- etc.
Lev: 'Um...where are all these people you keep talking about?'

heh
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Friday, August 17, 2007

LOOK AT MY NEW IDEA!

So, I saw this ad on craigslist.org for someone looking for writers to help create an internet sensation.
Yes, I assumed this was some scam or whathaveyou. But I emailed anyhow.
Its some guy looking for a writer to help write the video blogs that tell the story of a set of friends. And the hook? No one will know that they are being scripted!
OH MY!
You mean people will think that they are REAL???
How will you market this??
Well, I have this new theory called viral marketing...

I attempted to explain to the guy that this is, in fact, already old. I explained the whole lonelygirl15 thing, and how people just aren't likely to fall for this anymore, or at least not like they have before.
Then I tried to explain how the internets are filled to overflowing with gimmicks and perhaps it is time to let go of gimmicks and, instead, produce quality content (which is much harder than gimmicky content).
He complained that no one would watch the early episodes cause they'd be dull.
To which I replied, why not stop thinking of this in terms of novel or movie.
This is a new medium.
Think in new ways.

I doubt I'll hear from him again.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

My onlineness sucks

The fact is, I'm out of control, online.
No, I don't mean I'm downloading 5 gig of porn an hour.
No, I don't mean I'm going broke on ebay.
No, I don't mean I'm the guy who sends you all that email about your penis falling out of your girlfriend's mouth.
I mean I'm drowning in info-soup.
Its not that I can't process the metric gazillion feeds I have on google reader.
Its that I don't actually care about most of them.
I think I should care about some of the feeds dedicated to economics, but I don't. Really, I don't understand much about economics at all. I'm OK with that. It looks to me like big picture stuff is pretty much hit-or-miss for the guys with PhDs anyhow.
(I understand two and only two things about macro economics:
1. Trickle down economics doesn't work. I know this because I lived through two terms of Reagan and one term of Bush Sr.
2. If an economy is helped by money moving around from person to person and business to business, then the best possible idea is to make sure poor people get more money.
And I say that as someone who is making a lot more than most people.
Oh, OK, I understand one more thing. Rich people who bitch about their taxes should be made to live without any of the things taxes pay for. I make a good living, but I ain't rich. In reality, taxes probably screw people in my pay range more than just about anyone else, and I pay them. Every year. Without complaint. Because that's the rent for living in the US. And it is a small price to pay.)


So, as of today, I am cleaning up.
I'm down to under a dozen feeds, and I'll build from there, slowly.
I'm cutting down to just this blog.
All email lists go to another email account where they will probably be ignored.

Just because you CAN take it all in, doesn't mean you want to.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

American Idol and The Beatles

So, I was watching Idol and they decided (for some ungodly reason) to do a tribute to Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.
And I'm watching.
And these past winners are coming on stage, doing parts of various songs.
And the camera pans around them.
And then I see it.
A teleprompter.
Which is just pathetic.
I understand most of you are young.
That maybe you don't know the song by heart.
But you know what?
Its THE BEATLES!
Learn
The
Fucking
Song.

(especially you, Taylor Hicks)

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Old Navy Kills Your Soul

Oh, and not for nothing, but I think Old Navy may be causing me to become less attracted to human beings.

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American Idol: Blake

So I'm watching American Idol.
And, really, I'm bored.
I mean, Melinda is great, sure, and so is Jordin, but neither of them have the flexibility or the more general musical...I dunno...knowledge? understanding? whatever that Blake has.
They may be better singers, but he has more talent.

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Superman heats up the crucible


Superman was born for this


The funny thing is, strangeness like this just wasn't that, well, strange in the 60s and 70s.
It was an interesting time to be reading comics (no, I wasn't alive much in the 60s or early 70s, but I grew up with backissues).
I'm not saying that the writing was GOOD...
But it was sort of like there were no rules.
Superman devolves into a super-ape-man?
Go for it.
Batman gets a new partner, Ace:The Bat-dog?
Get that script done!
Wonder Woman's magic lasso becomes self-aware and goes on a crime spree?
Nono, too much.
Make that an imaginary story.

Sure, there's Elseworlds stuff today, but that lacks the surreal nature of the classics.

I wonder if we've just become too frickin' sophisticated.
Or just plain old boring.

Where are my "Those Annoying Post Brothers" comics???



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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mario, Mario, Where For Art Thou, Mario


Ok, Mario, we're gonna get you laid.

I haven't had a chance to watch all of this (23 minutes???), but the first couple minutes killed me.


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New toy! Maybe not...well, someday....

Years and years and years ago, my Dad retired from Digital Equipment Corp. (took the retirement package instead of getting laid off...this is around the time HP bought them).
So, for the first time in decades, he has nothing to do.
For a while, he obsesses with various ways of making coffee (don't even get me started on this), but that can only go on for so long.
Anyhow, my brother, our friend Bonehead and I are all playing this game 'Ultima Underworld II' because another friend of mine, Austin Grossman, was working on it for Looking Glass Studios, and was kind enough to get us a late-stage beta.
Loved it.
Eventually, we move out.
Dad calls me one day saying "I just bought a computer and thought I'd use it to play games. What can you suggest?"
"Ultima Underworld II."
"OK."
A couple weeks go by and I give him a ring.
Me:So how's Underworld going?
Dad:Well, I'm kind of stuck. I don't know what to do next.
Me:OK, so where are you?
Dad:I'm in the castle.
Me:What castle? (I have no memory of a castle)
Dad:The one with the King and the Royal Family.
Me:(confused pause) Wait, the one you start in???
Dad: Yes. I've talked with everyone and now I don't know what to do.
Me: Well, have you gone down into the sewers?
Dad: No. They said there were monsters down in the sewers.

And there you have it. Playing video games requires a fundamental shift in perspective. You are, in fact, looking for trouble.
Anyhow, once he got over that, his video game career has far outshined mine.

Dad goes through a couple of computers, upgrading when needs be.
But then Oblivion comes out and there's no way Dad's machine will run the damn thing. But its also a really bad time to buy a PC as the duo cores are still pretty new and all that.
So he buys an XBox360 so he can play Oblivion and maybe a few other games until he decides to buy a new PC.
He goes through every bit of the game that he can, and then buys Enchanted Arms.
Uh-oh.
Enchanted Arms has some display problems.
Why?
Spanking new tech in the XBox360, 5 year old tech in the TV. The text is illegible.
So, to him, the 360 is dead.
Eventually, he gives it to me.
I am most happy as I'm out of PS2 games to play, now that I've finished God Of War II, and can't justify a PS3 (which has nothing worth playing yet either) or a 360 (which has some games I'd like to play, and a bunch of great ones coming soon, like Mass Effect) since I just spent 900 bucks on a wedding ring.
I go and buy:
Gears Of War
Viva Pinata
DOA4
Dead Rising
and an extra controller.
WHEEE!!!
Gears of War confuses me. I'd gotten it on the recommendation of a friend who said it wasn't really a first person shooter, but rather more like 3rd person.
Plus, it looks pretty.
For a while, the game confuses the hell out of me. Moving around seems needlessly tricky, and I appear to have WAY too many options when I'm hiding behind a rock. I'm also getting my ass handed to me.
Until, of course, I read the manual, which makes it abundantly clear that hiding is the way to go. Duck, poke,shoot, duck.
Gotcha.
Which reminded me of a CCG card I once read (or maybe it was a fake card...I dunno...). The flavor text was: "So there I was, between a rock and a hard place. And I thought to myself, 'What am I doing on this side of the rock???'"

Played a little DOA4 which was gorgeous and fun, and then...Viva Pinata.
1) Yes, all the 'characters' appear to be pinatas. And they all want to get bashed open by children at parties. Its unclear if they are then resurrected of if they are simply suicidal. Reminds me of the Schmoo.
2) Your pinatas eat each other (and also mate in front of a jukebox).
3) The tutorial section is unbelievably high-pressure. It wouldn't shut up with telling me to do things. All I wanted to do was grow my garden and raise some frickin' pinatas! Easily more stressful than Gears Of War.
Most tiring.

Alas...
the 360 is busted after only a day or two of playing and is currently in transit to Texas for repairs.
(long way to go for a complaint, ain't it?)

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

American Idol: Barry Gibb Is The Antichrist to Ryn Seacrest's Jesus

So, this season is the first time I've watched American Idol from the beginning.
For the most part, I like the format of the show. Specifically, how they use the theme nights. Sure, it was hard for the guys when it was Diana Ross night (I mean, seriously, the woman's singing is legendary, so it would be hard enough to step up, but to try that as a guy? not that fair), but the guys had their chance with Tony Bennet and Bon Jovi.
Anyhow, this week was just stupid.
Barry Gibb?
You want them to sing music that, previously, was sung by a man but almost completely in falsetto?
C'mon.
Of course they all stank that night!
What did you expect?

Oh, and lets face it...
Disco music is BAD MUSIC!
The only reason people argue against this idea is because of nostalgia.
Disco is death.
(I'm pretty sure that the band played the same music for each song)


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Friday, April 27, 2007

BLADE RUNNER SUPER SPECIAL RESHOOT EDITION!!!


GEEKGASM!!!

Joanna Cassidy (who played Replicant Zhora in the film – she’s the one Harrison Ford runs down on the street & shoots in the back) has just finished shooting new material for the forthcoming DVD restoration!

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I, too, can swing like Spider-man!


Real Spidey Suit???

A new Spider-Man film swings into cinemas soon, but an Italian researcher said on Thursday he was working on a project that could lead to real-life versions of the comic book character.rnrnNicola Pugno, a 35-year-old researcher at the Polytechnic University of Turin, said he has worked on a form of adhesion for about 10 years that could lead to something like a spider-man suit.

Obviously, this man knows nothing about Spider-man.
First, Spider-man is more than just sticky.
Second, the sticky, such as it is, does not come from the suit.
Third, when will Target be carrying these?

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Friday, April 06, 2007

My Humps...with feeling.

My video response coming soon. More of a commentary, really.



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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Obama/Clinton

We here in The Basement have noticed something about the Democratic contenders.
Two of them in particular.
Barak Obama, an attractive man. A political up-and-comer with a bright future ahead of him. A man of power.
Hillary Clinton, also attractive for a man, and almost as powerful as her husband is now.
Could they possibly resist each other?
It seems clear, now, that Hillary and Barak have become the new power couple in Washington, DC.
Don't believe me? Just watch their behavior during the state of the union address.
No go?
Then take notice of how careful they are to hide their affair. How rarely they are in the same room together, or even mention each other on TV.
Quite the discrete pair.
But a little too discrete.
Not talking about something can be just as informative as yelling about it.

When will they finally reveal their forbidden love?



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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Faux Klingons???

Idiot...they are obviously Andoreans...



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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

MASS MURDER ON MARS


So much for my dream of being the first murderer on another planet.

Two NASA space probes that visited Mars 30 years ago may have found alien microbes on the Red Planet and inadvertently killed them, a scientist is theorizing.


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Strange Germans and their inventions


I'm pretty sure this is a montage of strange inventions.

I wish I could read German/

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Cobra Commander Has Me By The Short Hairs

For some reason, I have a version of Copa Cabanna in my head...
only its this:
I'm the Cobra, Cobra Commander
With the Baroness, Destro and Serpentor
I'm the Cobra, COBRA Commander
If the Joe's get in my way
Then I will make them pay
I'm the Cobra....

If I don't get this out of my head soon, I will have to Weird Al the whole frickin' song like this.
I'm stuck in the damn chorus!!!
I may take a life tonight.
It may be my own.

YO JOE!

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Lamest Superheroes Ever


Wow!

Personally, I like Dogwelderman:
Dogwelder was a character from Garth Ennis' "Hitman" series. Dogwelder was part of a superhero team known as Section Eight which was a band of these crazy guys that fought crime in rather inane ways. Dogwelder is my favourite of the bunch. He's this madman in a silver welder's outfit that basically just goes around welding stray dogs to villains' faces. That's it. That's how he fought crime. Welding dogs to people. Mind you it would be a bitch of a thing to have happen to you. You try to rob a bank and you end up with a Lhasa Apso welded to your face, yapping for eternity. *shudder*


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Why Zombies Are Scary


Zombie Outbreak Simulation


set to 1 zombie, the city falls in less than 2 minutes.
THAT'S why zombies are scary

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Flatland: The Movie


Flatland: The Movie


Interesting.
But I'm worried the characters will all be two-dimensional

(I had to say it...forgive me)

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